Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball Announce Exceptional Recruiting Class for 2021-22
Chantal Vallée and the Lancer women’s basketball team has announce their outstanding recruiting class for the 2021-22 season.
Joining the blue and gold in the fall are international star Isabella Anes from Venezuela, local all-stars Hayley Woods and Reighan Dales, Sarnia native Jayden LaRocque and Abby Bodden from British Columbia.
“This is a championship-calibre recruiting class and I feel very blessed to have the chance to work with them soon,” said Vallée. “They are an amazing group of young women, phenomenal students, and top-notch basketball players. I am so thrilled to have each of them join our team and I want to thank assistant coaches Maddy, Emma, and Nambogga for their role in bringing these athletes to Windsor.”
A 5’7 point-guard from Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, Anes is currently in her senior year at J. Addison Preparatory School in Toronto, ON.
The speedy point guard has already drawn comparisons to Lancer great and current Team Canada member Miah-Marie Langlois. Her basketball IQ, defensive minded play, and ability to create opportunities for herself and teammates will allow her to have an immediate impact in OUA and U SPORTS play.
Immigrating to Canada at the age of 15, Anes seized an opportunity to play basketball in the United States and suited up for Sunrise Christian Academy out of Bel Aire, Kansas, during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. She was named a tournament all-star multiple times during her tenure and was also the most voted player to the all-KCAA high school basketball 2A team in 2018, and and the all-HCAA basketball 3A team in 2019 (Wichita, KS).
In 2019, she enrolled at J. Addison Prep in Toronto and has spent the last two years as a member of the J. Addison Elite Girls Basketball Team which recently became the newest member of the OSBA.
In addition to excelling at the high school level, Anes has also represented her home country of Venezuela as a member of the U14, U15, and U16 national teams. She participated in the FIBA Americas championships hosted in Buenos Aires in 2017, and the FIBA South American Championship in 2015 & 2016. Isabella was also named the MVP of the XIV Edition of the Cup of Latin-American Clubs of Argentina 2014 (Buenos Aires, Argentina).
“The addition of a player with the reputation, experience, leadership and skill as Isabella is an incredible blessing to our program for which I am extremely grateful,” said Vallée. “Isabella possesses all the qualities to lead the team and perform in a championship setting. She will be a spectacular player to watch and a solid ambassador of our values and culture at the University of Windsor. Without a doubt she will have an immediate impact at both ends of the floor and it is an honour to welcome her and her wonderful family to the Lancers.”
Anes is a community minded individual with a passion for helping others explore their full potential and will be studying Kinesiology at the University of Windsor. “Beyond the academic opportunities the university offers and the impressive history of the women’s basketball program, I chose UWindsor because of its diverse culture and amazing people,” exclaimed Anes. “I felt welcomed into the team since the very first day I met the girls, and the vision Coach Vallée has for the program aligns with my athletic and personal ambitions. I am very excited to grow and develop with the team, and I have no doubt my future teammates and professors will continue to shape me into a better human being.”
A world class shooting guard, Bodden will bringing her exceptional basketball IQ, scoring touch, and defensive abilities to the Lancer Basketball program.
A 5’9 guard from Richmond, BC, Bodden was a standout athlete at R.A. McMath Secondary School before moving across the country to play her senior year for the Caledon Basketball Academy, an elite team in the OSBA. She also found success on the AAU circuit competing initially for AthElite in Surrey, BC before moving to BC United in North Vancouver.
A repeat all-star, Bodden helped lead McMath to their seventh straight Richmond basketball title in 2020, a South Fraser regional championship and a fourth place finish at the 3A secondary school basketball championships.
“Her ability to shoot the three point ball is unmatched in our league. What is even better is that she can shoot the mid-range and attack the basket with an equal amount of high-level skills,” said Vallée. “Her release is so fast and she definitely will cause problems with her diverse offensive skills. Abby is a dedicated student of the game and her determination to win and train are only small examples of the great passion she has for basketball. As I look forward to getting to know her and her family more, I can say that I know she will have an impact in the OUA right away.”
Abby will be pursuing a degree in Criminology next fall with the long-term goal of becoming a police officer. “I chose the University of Windsor because of the amazing history in the women’s basketball program. I loved the coaching staff and their emphasis on the importance of family as well as the beautiful campus and athletic facilities.”
Local all-star Hayley Woods joins the Lancers from the St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats in LaSalle, ON. The 6’0 guard is also a member of the Windsor St. Clair (WSC) JUEL team.
Woods led the Wildcats to a WECSSAA championship in 2019 while also being named a first team city all-star. With WSC that same year, Woods finished second overall in league scoring in addition to boasting the second best blocks per game.
She was invited to represent Canada at the Across Borders Global Games Futures game in 2018 as well as at the BallIN Across Borders War Games Sophomores game the following year. She was the NPH Windsor Showcase MVP in 2018 and was selected as a Best-in-Prep All-Star in both 2018 and 2019. This past season, Hayley was a nominee for the BIOSTEEL All-Canadian Basketball game.
“We have had our sights set on Hayley for years, and I am thrilled she has chosen to join our program,” Vallée said. “Every time we land a D-1 level-type player, we are excited. Haley is a positive, quiet leader with sharp shooting skills, great athletic abilities, and has a fantastic scoring touch. She is definitely one of the most talented players to come out of Windsor-Essex and I am so happy she will get to play in front of her friends and family.”
An honour roll student throughout high school, Hayley will pursue her degree in Nursing in the fall. “Choosing UWindsor was an easy choice for me,” said Woods. “Not only is the nursing program amazing but the athletes and coaches were all very welcoming and I immediately got a sense of the great team culture.”
Dales is a 6’0 forward currently completing her senior year as a standout student-athlete at St. Anne’s High School in Belle River, ON.
Growing up in the Tecumseh Saints youth basketball program, she transitioned over to the Windsor Valiants where she won an OBA championship in 2014-15. In 2019, Dales was named a JUEL Prep all-star, was a member of the all-academic team, and was an integral member of the Valiants JUEL Prep team that finished second overall in the JUEL Prep Championships. Most recently she suited up for the Windsor St. Clair (WSC) JUEL team, and in 2020 was again named to the JUEL Molten all-academic team.
With St. Anne’s, Dales and the Saints competed for the WECSSAA championship for two straight years, capturing gold in 2018 and silver in 2019.
“Reighan is the epitome of the “student-athlete,” said coach Vallée of Dales. “She is a great student academically and is equally dedicated to her training. She can score, rebound and shoot from the three at an above average rate, and with her height, she will definitely be a match-up problem for opposing teams as a taller wing. I look forward to seeing her impact and contribution throughout the next 5 years and am already grateful having the opportunity at getting to know her and her family.”
Dales will be pursuing a degree in mathematics with the long-term goal of attending law school. “I chose the University of Windsor because of the commitment that the program has to develop players not only on the court but off as well,” said Dales. “The team has always been welcoming and there is a unique bond formed between the athletes. Additionally, the Lancers have a reputation for winning, producing good teams, and have the academic program I am looking for.”
As a 6’3 forward, LaRocque started her career with the Huron Lakers Basketball Club before suiting up for St. Patrick’s Catholic High School where she played a pivotal role in the team’s success over the past two seasons.
In 2020, she made the jump from high school to the JUEL league as a member of the London Ramblers. Jayden is also the cousin of Lancer great Jocelyn LaRocque who helped lead the team to their five national championships from 2011-15.
“Jayden is a brilliant young woman who is willing to go through the effort, training, and challenges required to become a first-class varsity athlete,” commented Vallée. “She possesses a great basketball IQ and together with her great hands around the hoop, will pose problems for rebounding and inside game defence for other teams. And while she can shoot, pass and set solid picks, she will continue to expand her skills learning from her older, more experienced teammates. Soon she will be a force to be reckoned with and I am very excited to welcome a second member of the LaRocque clan to the Lancer family.”
Jayden will be studying psychology with plans on continuing to complete both a masters and ultimately a doctorate in psychology. “I’ve chosen Windsor because of how impressed I was with Coach Vallée and the basketball program just felt like a great fit for me,” said LaRocque. “The quality of the school and my education has always been really important to me.”